Matthew 9:27–34: The Merciful Son of David
In the last passage, we considered Jesus’ compassion. He does not only possess authority, but he possesses compassion to use that authority for the good of his people. As we come to the final section of a cycle of stories dealing with Jesus’ healings, we are confronted with the question of how people respond to Jesus’ authority and compassion. In Matthew 9:27–34, we see that Jesus is the merciful Son of David. Even so, will people trust him to extend to them the mercy that they need, or will they reject him in one way or another?
1. What do the blind men cry out to Jesus (v. 27)? What do they ask for when they seek Jesus’ mercy? What did the title “Son of David” mean? Why is it important to see that blind men are the ones who call Jesus the “Son of David”? Why does Jesus ignore their request at first? Is Jesus worthy of their trust in him? What do these blind men teach us about the significance of Jesus’ power?
2. What does Jesus do for the man who was demon-possessed and mute (v. 32–33)? Why does Matthew tell the story of Jesus’ exorcism of this demon so indirectly? How do the crowds respond to Jesus’ various miracles of healing that we have read throughout this section (v. 33)? What is good about their response? What is lacking from their response? How does the whole Gospel of Matthew teach us to understand the dynamics of the crowd?
3. How do the Pharisees react to Jesus’ casting out a demon (v. 34)? Why did they not reject whether Jesus had cast out the demon, and instead criticize the source of Jesus’ power to cast out the demon? Why do you think that the Pharisees react to Jesus’ power in this way? What is missing and lacking from their response to Jesus’ power? In what ways do people reject Jesus’ power today? How are those rejections similar to that of the Pharisees? How are they different?
4. How do you respond to the power and authority of Jesus? If you have read this far, you have knowledge—but do you assent to that knowledge as true? Why or why not? If you assent to the knowledge as true, do you trust in that knowledge for yourself? Why or why not? Do you see the fact that Jesus is the merciful Son of David as significant for you? What would it take for you to follow the example of the blind men to cry out to him for his mercy?